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Home / Guide Collections / Thomas Jefferson Correspondence Collection

Thomas Jefferson Correspondence Collection

Thomas Jefferson letter Collection Description

In 1993, correspondence of Thomas Jefferson was discovered in an old file folder of the Everett Edwards Collection in Special Collections. The collection consists of eleven letters to, from, and about Thomas Jefferson (1786-1819). Agricultural topics include nursery stock purchased by Jefferson, requests for appointments to federal agricultural offices, letters from Jefferson transferring "millet seed" and "succory seed" to various acquaintances in the United States and Canada, and a letter from "Lord Sheffield" of the Board of Agriculture in London, England, commenting on Jefferson's invention of a "mould board" plough attachment for use in farming. Besides the original letters, there are typewritten copies of the letters done by the History Section of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics in 1943.

The collection also contains a set of 4 letters (1915) between D. F. Houston, the Secretary of Agriculture, and his friend W. K. Bixby regarding Jefferson letters that Bixby had found and sent to Houston. Houston then placed the Jefferson letters in the USDA Library.

There are letters, a memorandum, and a press release on the discovery of the Jefferson letters.


Special Collections of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) acquires, arranges, describes, preserves and makes available rare materials significant to the history of agriculture. Materials are obtained through donation or active collection in accordance with the established Special Collections collection development policy. Special Collections staff organize and describe materials according to archival principles and create descriptions and indexes to enhance access. Staff do not edit or otherwise modify the original materials. The views expressed in the collections do not necessarily reflect the policies of the National Agricultural Library or the United States Department of Agriculture.